The Houston Astrodome is still a Houston landmark even more than 40 years after it was originally constructed. It now sits vacant for most of the year, all but replaced by the newer stadium directly next door to it, Reliant Stadium. When it was opened in 1965, it became the world's first large capacity indoor stadium, seating well over 40,000 people then, and with several expansions, it currently seats over 60,000 now. It was nicknamed the "Eighth Wonder Of The World" in it's early days, and had natural grass in it for only 1 year before the artificial "Astroturf" was developed & installed. The Astrodome was home to the Houston Astros baseball team from 1965 until 1999, when they moved downtown to Minute Maid Park (then refered to as Enron Field!). The Houston Oilers American football team also played here from 1965 until 1996, when they moved to Nashville, Tennessee and are now known as the Tennessee Titans. :( It was also host to many famous events and conceets throughout the years, including the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. Now it is primarily used for small functions throughout the year, and was made into one of the largest evacuation centers in history when thousands of people fled the devistation of Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005. The future for this Houston icon is unknown. There are many different suggestions on what to do with it; everything from turning it into a huge casino, to tearing it down altogether. But with so many memorable moments taking place here over the years, it's legacy in this town will live on forever!
A must see bar
La Carafe is in one of the oldest buildings in Houston. The place looks like it's from the 18th century, and they limit the number of people who can go upstairs for fear that the place will fall over if there's too much weight. It's supposedly haunted, which shouldn't surprise anyone given the looks of this place. It's very charming and worth a visit. They only serve wine and beer. A very cool downtown destination.
Italian Restaurant w/ Fun Atmosphere
They have very interesting pictures all over the wall. It's a very lively atmosphere and the waiters/waitresses really enjoy their job. The food is served family style.
Hours: Monday - Thursday: 5-10, Friday: 5-11, Saturday: 12-11, Sunday: 12-10 I like the spagetti with meatballs, also the pizza, mashed potatoes, garlic bread. It's all good!
The REAL American Feeling
If you are in Houston for more then one day, you MUST go to a baseballgame. It takes you a couple of hour, but everthing you need to know about Americans you learn there. At the beginning of the game the national anthem, after a couple of innings a workout !!, and during the whole game food and drinks of every kind available. The game is not really exciting when you do not know any of the players, but your game neighbours usually will tell you anything about each of them. Plus the tempo is low so you can have good, nice and long conversations with American men and women.
Visit the San Jacinto Monument...
Visit the San Jacinto Monument in Deer Park.
This monument really took me by surprise when I first visited it. While standing and looking at the monument you get the feeling that the whole design of the monument and the grounds around it are a take on the Mall in Washington DC. It has its' own reflecting pool and everything. The guides in the monument will be the first to tell you however that it stands a full 12 feet taller than that Washington monument does. Indeed, Guinness lists it as the tallest monument column in the world. In the base of the monument is an EXCELLENT museum describing the events from the Alamo and beyond, leading up to Sam Houston's defeat of Santa Anna in San Jacinto. There is also a very good film on the history of the Texas Revolution. Whether or not you wish to go to the top of the tower is up to you, but the view is not all that great.